“In Q2 2014 Schibsted Media Group continued to develop the online operations. I am satisfied to see our Online classifieds sites overall have strong traffic growth and improved user engagement. This is evidence of Schibsted’s ability and willingness to build the online marketplaces of the future. Our portfolio of leading positions in European markets with a combined population of more than 200 million indicates a significant future potential for value creation,” CEO Rolv Erik Ryssdal says.
“At the same time Schibsted continues its program of organic investments in emerging markets. Together with our joint venture partners, we are seeing very positive growth of our services in Brazil, Chile, and Indonesia, among other markets. We are confident that our investments are value creative, as the positions we are building will be valuable as the markets mature,” Rolv Erik Ryssdal says.
“Our media houses continue their work to become world class digital media houses. Digital revenues now make up one third of the total media house revenues, and it is satisfactory to see that the online revenue growth rate for the newspapers is as high as 21 percent. It is particularly reassuring to see that the growth not only is coming from advertising sales, but now increasingly from readers paying to access our editorial content online,” Rolv Erik Ryssdal says.
“Simultaneously, the print advertising revenues decline with a high, steady pace. This creates a great challenge, as we have to adapt the cost base accordingly. Reduction of cost in order to maintain a healthy profit is one of the key objectives for the management teams of our media houses. Nevertheless, we may see that margins in the media houses will remain under some pressure during this important transition phase from offline to online business models,” CEO Rolv Erik Ryssdal says.
Highlights of Q2 2014
(Figures in brackets refer to the corresponding period in 2013.)
- EBITDA of NOK 574 million (562 million). Excluding investments in New Ventures in Online classifieds, the Group EBITDA was NOK 711 million (781 million).
- Online classifieds EBITDA margin of 32 percent (28%), 44 percent (49%) excluding investments in New Ventures
- Continued growth and high margins in Sweden and France. Investing in building the next generation online classifieds marketplace in Norway.
- Building future positions through investments in traffic growth across the portfolio. Strong growth in key performance indicators such as number of new ads in the investment phase sites, including Brazil.
- Several new mobile apps in the pipeline. Taking control of mobile only market place Shpock, with good traction in Germany and UK.
- Positioning Leboncoin.fr to capture the real estate potential in France.
- Acquisition of Milanuncios.com in Spain expected to be closed in Q3 2014.
- Mixed development in Media houses.
- Strong online positions secure overall revenue growth and firm margins for VG and Aftonbladet.
- Accelerated print advertising decline for subscription newspapers. Continuous work on adapting cost base to the development.
- Steady growth and margin improvement for personal finance services.